Danny Adams had a passion for both the environment and motor vehicles from a young age. The aerospace engineer, was always destined for big things, since winning a place at NASA space camp while at school,has invented an intelligent driving feedback device with the potential to make a positive global environmental impact.
“There are three components: a dongle that plugs into the car’s diagnostic board, a mobile application, and a beautiful dash mounted display that we call ‘Ray’,” says Adams “Ray glows blue, when you’re driving in a fuel efficient way that minimises carbon emissions. Drivers can view their emissions on their mobile at various stages of their trip journey. The data collected is synced to the cloud, where it can be viewed via a website or web portal.”
Research suggests that using GoFar can help cut users fuel consumption by up to 22 per cent. That means a US$149 device could save motorist hundreds of dollars a year and save millions of tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere.
Lots more on that shortly but first a little background.
Adams credits his studies at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) for providing him with “a certain way of looking at the world”. He notes, “Engineering helps people become problem solvers. UNSW is one of the top engineering schools in Australia going there encouraged me to concentrate oncoming up with new ideas and working out how to implement them.”A late-night inventor
“The advice I’d now give any other tech entrepreneur is to be aware of the startup ecosystem in their city and take full advantage of it from early on,”
Launching out on his own, Adams discovered Australia’s thriving startup scene. “I was unaware there was a community of people doing similar things to me. I started thinking there must be others who were a few steps further down the path. People who could provide the advice I needed to get things moving faster.”
“There were 120 applicants, 30 entrepreneurs admitted and seven who made it to the end. It’s a tough program because business is tough. I learnt so many things but the most important was how to pitch my business. You had to do that every week in front of a panel of experts, business leaders and startup founders. If you didn’t do it well, you were out. That pressure forces you to make sure you have a viable idea and fine-tune your message.”
How far can GoFar go?
All that pitching practice has paid off. After emerging as the highest-ranked graduate in his program, Adams raised $450,000 from high-net-worth investors. A subsequent Kickstarter campaign, “Awesome car computer. Better mileage. Lower emissions. A beautiful device that improves your driving” – was hugely oversubscribed, raising US$160,000 ($220,000) rather than the intended US$50,000. According to The Australian even Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, took out his credit card and ordered a GoFar when he toured the Fishburners facility.
After developing five prototypes in as many years, Adams was delighted to launch the first production run of GoFars manufactured in Taiwan in October of 2015 with plans to start selling them in February 2016.
“Considering the amount of complicated technology involved it’s been a mostly smooth process ,” he says.
“Of the 1,300 units sold through the Kickstarter campaign, about a third were bought by Australians, a third by North Americans and a third by Europeans, with a few sales from Asia as well. We’ve already set up a subsidiary company in the US and we’re negotiating with a car fleet in Germany that wants to bulk-buy GoFars.”
So what’s next for Adams?
“The technology can be adapted for use in heavy vehicles and also to detect things such as driver fatigue,” he says. “Plus, it turns out that many of the same things that reduce carbon emissions, such as avoiding sudden acceleration or braking, also result in safer driving. We’re looking to get insurance companies interested. There are a billion cars in the world and GoFar is something we can sell everywhere.”
For more information on GoFar visit www.gofar.co
Source: First published on www.australiaunlimited.com Author Nigel Bowen.